The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

January 30, 2013

Oklahoma holds on, 74-71


Associated Press

WACO, Texas — — WACO, Texas (AP) — Amath M’Baye and Steven Pledger both scored 20 points and Oklahoma held on for a 74-71 victory at Baylor on Wednesday night to tie the Bears for second place in the Big 12.

Baylor (14-6, 5-2 Big 12) trailed by 16 in the second half before twice cutting the deficit to one.

The first time, Sooners freshman guard Buddy Hield spun and drove for a bank shot with 1:06 left. The second time Baylor was within a point, Pledger made two free throws with 8.6 seconds left.

Big 12 scoring leader Pierre Jackson had 22 points for Baylor, but missed a 3-pointer with 3 seconds left. Brady Heslip grabbed the rebound and stepped back, but his shot rattled off the rim as time ran out, though his foot might have been on the line anyway.

Romero Osby had 11 points for Oklahoma (14-5, 5-2).

Isaiah Austin, Baylor’s 7-foot-1 freshman, had 17 points and 21 rebounds — 12 of those offensive boards. A.J. Walton had 12 points and Heslip 11.

Oklahoma trailed only once, when Cory Jefferson made a jumper only 1:19 into the game for a 4-2 Baylor lead. M’Baye scored the Sooners’ first seven points, his 3-pointer making it 7-4 before a Heslip 3 for the last tie of the game.

The Sooners, who led by as much as 14 before halftime, were up 52-36 when M’Baye made a jumper with 13:29 left in the game.

When Jackson made a layup with 3 1/2 minutes left, Baylor was within 61-56. But Hield responded with a 3-pointer and Pledger had a steal and drove for a layup when he got fouled, then made the free throw for a 67-56 lead.

Baylor then scored 10 in a row, including a 3-pointer by Heslip and steal by Jackson for a driving layup, before Hield’s bank shot.

Jackson’s two free throws with 10 seconds left got Baylor within 72-71 before Pledger made two of his own.

Oklahoma shot over 50 percent in a game for only the second time this season, making 29 of 55 shots (53 percent). Baylor made 28 of 75 from the field (37 percent), and missed seven of its first 12 free throws before making four of the last five.

It was an up-and-down night for Jackson.

After making a 3-pointer with 11 1/2 minutes to get Baylor within 56-46, Jackson had two turnovers in the next minute.

But Cameron Clark was called for a charge after stealing a bad inbound pass. A mishandled pass by Jackson right after that led to two free throws by Clark.

The Bears were within 21-20 after Jackson grabbed a rebound and drove the length of the court for a layup with about 8 minutes left in the first half.

That came after a one-minute span when Walton missed two free throws, Austin had a shot blocked by M’Baye, and Jackson missed the front end of a bonus situation.

Osby had a layup on an alley-oop pass from Hield to start a 15-2 run, and the Sooners led 36-22 after Hield penetrated inside and passed out to Andrew Fitzgerald for a jumper.

Baylor had only one field goal in a span of more than six minutes. That was Austin tipping his own miss — after the Sooners scored eight points in a row before that and the next seven afterward.